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Thread: Looking for a first cam.

  1. #1

    Default Looking for a first cam.

    Heya,

    Lately i've been really getting interested in making short movies and the like so im looking for a camcorder.

    Anyways i'm not that rich at the moment and i'm not really familiar in what low budget cameras to get at this prize range ...or lower (350 400 which is somewhere around 500 dollars)

    So i'm looking for
    -in this prize range a camera to start experimenting with
    -probably tape DV (seems to be the general consensus around here as far as i've read)
    -a mic input probably
    -and something that can film in lower light atmosphere (got a lot of things planned in pub type enviroments that aren't the best lit places in the world )

    Heres to hoping i'm not asking the impossible and thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    ENGLAND!
    Posts
    774

    Default

    ok things to look out for.

    Optical zoom, not digital

    a large cmos or ccd sensor (3ccd is the best) is better in low light conditions. (1/6" is bigger than 1/7.25")
    Mic inputs are good to expand your knowledge - for that price you wouldn't be able to et an xlr input so it will be mini-jack all the way.

    MiniDV is the best at the moment for Standard Definition

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks, but i was hoping if people could point me to more specific brand and model names to watch out for

  4. #4

    Default

    Consumer Camcorders - High Definition Camcorders - DVD Camcorders - Single Chip CCD Digital Camcorders - Digital Camcorder - FS11 - Canon USA Consumer Products

    The canon FS11 might b worth looking at.. this one here is flash drive I think they have a mini DV which is better in my opion but I think they got rid of it to switch to the HD cameras. But you might find one on ebay. I cant give an opion on this cam.. but you can look on youtube and see if its the quality you're after.. good luck on your search
    Wil

    Software Used:
    TGV Edius 6, TGV ProCoder 3, DVD Lab Pro. 2

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChapmanProduction

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    ENGLAND!
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    774

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    WE use Panasonic 3ccd cameras, i can't remember the model numbers of myu head but they all shoot very high quality video.

  6. #6

    Default

    The fs11 looks interesting might have to save up a tad longer then, any others ?

  7. #7

    Default

    Hi all, thanks for the info on cams.
    Folks, on the same topic, can you please list key features for Short Film camcorder? I have no idea what to choose and anything will be useful. I am planning to begin short filming and have couple of scenarios even
    So if you just helped me with starting off camera choosing that would be very good.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Western Europe
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    How much do you want to spend? Will you be editing the videos after shooting, do you want to make dvd copies of your film or upload it to YouTube or similar sites? Are you looking for standard definition video or high definition video, do you want to purchase accessories such as a tripod, external mic etc?

  9. #9

    Default

    Great questions Nikosony, thanks.

    I am looking for something around $800-1000. Yes, there is high probability of editing videos and no formal dvd’s will be issued just electronic copy would be ok. No uploading to sites, I mean there is no priority for that. If I have to I will do it from existing video. So no special arrangement needed for this purpose.
    To answer definition question I need to know the difference firstly. I am looking for fair definition (sounds stupid doesn’t it?), which means I don’t aim for super quality or professional shooting (for that price it would not be realistic neither), but something that doesn’t scratch your eyes, i.e. when you watch it you say “yeah, quality is ok”. I hope I got the message across.
    Tripod yes, definitely I plan to use, but about the mic I don’t know. Do I have to use? Some say yes, you have to use external mic if you want decent sound, while others say it is ok with built in mic if you don’t aim for professional filming. Keeping on the mind what I have said above please you advise if I need external mic or not. What other features do I need?

    Thanks very much.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Western Europe
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    I'm not familiar with the model numbers in America? I presume that is were you are located but for $800 to $1000 dollars you could certainly look at 'high definition' camcorders if you already have a high definition tv and enjoy the higher quality pictures it gives. Models such as the Canon Vixia HF20/HF200 (they are called Legria over here) are pretty good, giving high definition video, lots of manual control and plenty of connection sockets. The only problem with these particular models is if the auto focus can't work in low light conditions or you are shooting through glass, the manual focus control is accessed using a joystick on the lcd screen, not perfect by any means.

    Don't rely on the onboard mic to give you good sound, even a gentle breeze blowing across it will sound like a freight train when played back on your tv. A camcorder at this price point is something you will have over many years and start to use the more advanced features as you become more familiar with the controls. Other models to look at are the Panasonic HDC TM300 which has a lot of features and again gives very good high definition video and top quality sound.

    One word of warning though, these cameras create very big files and you will need a high spec computer to copy the files onto, edit them and render the changes you made.

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